Saturday, 23 August 2008

Stitches and Craft Show

DD and I had a wonderful day at the Show yesterday despite the coooooold weather!

The day started slowly for us - the free shuttle bus from Parramatta station kept us waiting in the rain quite a while but we arrived at Rosehill Race Course in plenty of time for the first fashion parade which we really wanted to see. Biggan Designs had a lovely range of knitwear on show, everything from beanies to skirts, mostly knitted on circular needles in their range of 8ply merino. I was impressed by some of the designs but I didn't think the yarn [$8.95 per 50g] was any better than Bendigo 8ply; mind you, I didn't rub it against my skin and I didn't have any Bendi yarn with me to compare.

We then visited the Make and Take stage where we saw a demonstration of wet-felting [by Colours of Australia], something DD and I have wanted to try since it was demonstrated at the Knitters' Guild more than 12 months ago! This demonstration spurred us on to give it a try [maybe next holidays!!]. DD made a tiny wet-felted ball about the size of a large pea; I think she prefers dry felting for ball-making.

Time for lunch then we made our way over to the main hall to check out all the exhibitors. We skipped all the quilting suppliers and scrapbooking suppliers so there wasn't much of interest to us - we did find a few stalls where we slowed down and three where we actually stopped [Threads and More, Dolls and Doilies and Yarns Galore]. DD was looking for yarn to knit stoles for her bridesmaids - with the dearth of yarn suppliers at the Show we came away empty handed. She sighed that she hadn't thought of knitting stoles before we went to Bendigo!

Upstairs for a seminar on colouring on fabric with Prisma pencils by Karlene Atkins of Katkins Designs. Not really relevant to what we do now but still very interesting and well presented. Karlene inspired DD enough to want a full set of pencils [$250] which she didn't get! I want to try doll making at some time but I don't really like sewing so what's a girl to do? Read on and the solution will present itself!

We went back to "The Pavilion" to see the Make and Take Demonstration of dry [needle] felting by Living Ideas [no website yet]. I found this demonstration badly put together and quite dry but I did have an "ah-ah moment" - I could try needle felting faces on knitted teddies instead of embroidering them. Stay tuned for the results of my first test teddy - I only started knitting her last night [more on that later – I’m experimenting with knitting teddy in the round]. Because this demonstration took only 20 minutes, I dashed upstairs again to see the seminar I should have gone to in the first place: criss-cross felting with Anne Huntley of Room for Threads. Wow! Now I really was inspired. The works she created by Nuno felting were simply amazing! I couldn't wait to go home and get started with my crafting!

But first, back to the Pavilion one more time. All the demonstrations/seminars/parades we had seen were by exhibitors in the Pavilion. We had one last look around and I did it - I bought the book I had looked at longingly every time I past the Colours of Australia stand. I first saw the 'sister' books at Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show and I really wanted this one. It was $79. Could I justify such a price for a single craft book? Yes, I could. I work very hard and earn good money and I really wanted this book. I had walked away from it three times already but I still really wanted it. The first time there was a total of fifteen copies of the three books; now there were only four. It seemed it was a case of “do it or go without”! I bought it and drooled over it late last night [after watching a repeat of Hercule Poirot on ABC]. I went to bed so inspired - here was my answer to doll making without sewing! The book is called New Felt by Birgitte Krag Hansen [of Denmark]. These beautiful, character filled faces are made without a single stitch of sewing thread! Can't wait to try it!

Gotta go - I have an experimental teddy on the needles, a book to drool over, needle felting to try, yarn to buy for stole knitting and, alas, lessons to prepare for the coming week. As is often the case: the last shall be first in my list of priorities!

Come back soon and see what I've been up to!


  1. I love Poirot, too! Sorry you passed by the quilting booths... :'P but loved the needle felting info-can't wait to see your teddy. I spent quite a few hours with my Huskystar E10 today-it is an embellishing/felting sewing machine-hope to post tomorrow about what I made. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  2. I agree it is disappointing how few stalls there are for yarnies at these shows. Thanks for the review of Biggan. I've always wondered about that yarn but love the colour range.

  3. I've been a bit disappointed at recent shows, so had decided against going to this one. Of course, the pneumonia would have prevented it now, but somehow I'm glad i didn't go. Will check the Biggan site too, although I'm a Bendigo fan too. That book looks great but not for me, I think.

  4. Dam...
    I missed the Stitches and Craft show. I didn't know that it was on. I have birthday money to spend as well.

    I would love to look at the needle craft book. I haven't paid my Knitters Guild fees - I haven't had the spare $40, that's why I didn't go last month. Our rent has gone up as well.

  5. oops... I meant needle felt book.
    I got distracted by the kids!

  6. What a great write up. I haven't been to the Stitches & Craft show for a few years, now I want to go so bad! Sounds like a fun day.


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